I had straight hair when I was a kid. I must have had some curls, because I remember people reciting the poem “There once was a girl, who had a curl, right in the middle of her forehead …” to me. But, looking at pictures, my hair was straight.

Until I hit puberty.

And then the curls – the weird ones that make your hair stick out at odd angles – appeared. And I spent 20 years trying to figure out how to tame those curls. Mostly by keeping my hair very long so they were weighed down, but occasionally by cutting my hair short and then cursing the odd angles that it stuck out at while it grew out again.

In my late twenties and early thirties, I finally embraced the curls, leaving my hair just below my ears so that it wasn’t too long to make them go away, but was long enough to give them some weight so that they would stay put.

Then I had kids. And my hair chemistry changed. It went darker. It went straighter. Not poker straight, but not what I’ve been used to dealing with for a good chunk of my life.

So I cut it off again. Short. Super short. And it looked good on me. And, most importantly, I loved it. I felt confident. I knew how to deal with it.

Until four years ago when Abby went through a phase of wanting to do my hair and not being able to do anything with hair that was only a few inches long. So I started the looooong process of growing it out. I went through the awkward stages and finally had hair that was long enough. And then I kept going.

And now … I tie it back most days.